Game DVR: The Windows 10 feature Microsoft doesn’t want you to know about
Since the unveiling of Windows 10, Microsoft has been loudly trumpeting features like Edge and Cortana, and boasting how well it works with hybrid computers. It hasn’t, however, been particularly vocal about a video-capture tool for games called Game DVR.
At the Windows 10 launch, Xbox head Phil Spencer sold it as a tool for gamers, and its use appeared limited. Tapping Win+G in a game fires up the Game Hub, a quick-look toolbar for recording video, launching the Xbox app and taking screenshots. Pressing Win+Alt+R starts recording; pressing it again stops it and saves the file to Game DVR in the app. So far, so good.
However, despite the name and the demos – all of which featured games – Game DVR isn’t limited only to games. With the latest build of Windows 10, Microsoft has finally opened up its Game Hub to all, and we’ve discovered it’s actually a general-purpose screen-capture tool that works with any application.
If you’re using an application Windows 10 doesn’t recognise as a game, it will ask you to confirm that it is one. If you do so, you’re then free to use Game Hub, whatever the program. If you claim Adobe Photoshop is game, that’s good enough for Game Hub.
So, we’re left with a few questions. Why has Microsoft called this feature Game Hub, rather than Screen Capture or something similarly generic? Why is it marketing it as a feature solely for gamers? And why has it implemented a pointless, entirely bypassable “check” on games? We’ve asked Microsoft for a clarification; we’ll update you if we get one.
It could be that the company wants to focus on gamers to attract more attention to the potential of Windows 10 as a gaming platform.
It might also be a legal issue. When recording from your screen, you risk violating the copyright of the creator of the software being recorded. Although this practice is broadly accepted (and sometimes encouraged) by games companies eager to get fans to promote their products for free, other companies might not feel the same way – and might decide to sue Microsoft, the provider of the tool, rather than end users.